Photo: Thomas Nilsen

Border crossing comes with a price

Already from next year, you might have to pay toll when you cross the border to Russia. The money is needed for upgrades of border infrastructure, Moscow says.
October 14, 2016

About 250 billion rubles (€3,6 billion) is needed for necessary modernization of Russia’s border crossing points, the country’s Transport Ministry says. That will be covered by the introduction of a tax on travelers.

The ministry proposes to levy a tax on all vehicles crossing the border. The measure might take effect from fall 2017, newspaper Kommersant reports.

In return, the ministry says efficiency will be boosted and the border-crossing time reduced.

Import and export companies are not happy. They fear that the measure will result in a price hike on their goods, Kommersant writes.

According to the Transport Ministry, there is a grave need for upgrades of the border crossing points. More than 20 percent of the country’s 314 current border crossing points do not meet standards with regard to technical equipment, control mechanisms and sanitary conditions. As many as 250 of the border-crossing sites are in need reconstruction and modernization, a state official confirms. The average investments needed for each and every facility is estimated to 1 billion rubles (€14,4 million).

It is not clear how much will be charged from regular vehicles. However, the ministry says the sum will depend on the type vehicle.

The Ministry of Transport this year took over the responsibility for the border crossing infrastructure after Rosgrantsa, a federal agency, was abolished.

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The measure comes as trade with Russia has spiraled downwards for the last couple of years along with the number of border-crossing travelers. On the country’s border to Norway, a total of 20,104 people cross the Borisgleb-Storskog border crossing point in July 2016, an approximate 30 percent decline compared with the same month in 2013.

Infographics: Denis Shirshov

 

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